Men's Soccer Heads to San Diego for Pair of West Coast Clashes

Live Video for Friday's Match at San Diego

Live Stats for Friday's Match at San Diego

Live Stats for Sunday against SDSU

PHILADELPHIA -
After a one year break, the Penn men's soccer team will return to San Diego this weekend for the Courtyard Marriott, San Diego Central Tournament hosted by San Diego State University. Up first for the Red and Blue is a match with the University of San Diego (at USD) on Friday at 10 p.m. EST followed by a Sunday tilt with host SDSU at 3 p.m. EST.

The Quakers went 1-1-0 at the 2009 edition of the tournament, claiming co-champion honors with the host Aztecs. Penn tied SDSU in its first match, 2-2, before downing San Diego, 3-2. Christian Barreiro returns to San Diego after a stellar 2009 tournament - he scored two goals and was named offensive co-MVP. Thomas Brandt was named defensive co-MVP while fellow center back Jake Levin was named to the all-tournament team.

Barreiro has factored into three of Penn's seven goals to start the 2011 season, scoring once and setting up a pair of goals over the course of the opening weekend. His four points are tied with Duke Lacroix for most on the Quakers. Earlier this week, both were honored by the Ivy League, with Lacroix earning Rookie of the Week honors and Barreiro being named to the weekly Honor Roll.

After the first weekend of play, the Quakers have the most potent offense with seven goals scored. Lacroix and Barreiro are tied for second in the Ivy League in points, trailing Columbia's Will Stamatis who has three goals.

Stats and individual rankings are to be kept in perspective this early in the season, however, with only a few matches on each team's resume, but what is more important to Penn to date is the development of younger players with increased minutes in 2011. Through the first weekend of the season, 11 underclassmen have appeared in both matches and five of the ten field players to do so have recorded at least one point. Goalkeeper Max Kurtzman has played all 180 minutes and has recorded one shutout while making 10 saves. In both matches, he made key saves at the right time to preserve Penn leads - a diving stop in the first half at La Salle with Penn ahead, 1-0, and a similar lunging stop in the second half to stop any thoughts of a Saint Joseph's rally. In front of him on the back line, Jonny Dolezal and Nicky Yin have slid in beside seniors Jake Levin and Thomas Brandt to form a solid group of four. Alex Reddy and Austin Kinn - two sophomores who saw limited time as freshmen - have each made one start and provided spark on the left side of the midfield. Freshman Agyeman Botchway and Mariano Gonzalez-Guerineau have been two of the first reserves off the bench up top and have filled in nicely, with Botchway scoring on Sunday against the Hawks.

Up first for the Quakers will be the San Diego Toreros on Friday night. The Quakers are 1-1-0 all-time against the Toreros, with a 3-2 win at this same tournament in 2009. Barreiro had two goals in the win for Penn in the '09 match, with Loukas Tasigianis adding the third. The Toreros are 1-2 this season, with a 2-1 in their last match - against San Diego State - and losses to UC Irvine and Drake. San Diego earned city bragging rights on Sunday with a late-moment win over the Aztecs. Stephen Posa scored in the 88th minute to break a 1-1 tie in favor of USD. The player to watch for the Toreros is junior Patrick Wallen. The Sweden native was the 2010 WCC Player of the Year after a 12-goal, 25-point season that followed up a 2009 campaign where he was named WCC Freshman of the Year. In each of the last two seasons Wallen has led the Toreros in goals, and he has one marker to his credit so far this season. Last year, USD went 9-7-3 and posted a 6-4-2 WCC record. The Toreros were tabbed second in the WCC Preseason Poll and return 17 letterwinners for this season. Adam Campbell has started two matches so far in goal, and the redshirt senior is 1-1 with two goals allowed.

On Sunday, Penn take on San Diego State at the SDSU Sports Deck. The Aztecs enter the weekend with a record of 1-1-1, posting a 2-1 win over Canisius and tying Long Island, 2-2, before the loss at San Diego last weekend. The Aztecs play in the powerful PAC-12, and were picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll. Last season, the Aztecs finished fifth in the conference with a 10-7-2 overall record and a 3-6-1 mark in the conference. 16 letterwinners and eight starters return for head coach Lev Kirshner this season, including junior Jose Altamirano who was second-team All-PAC 10 last year with 11 points, including a team-high nine assists. Altamirano has spent time with the U.S. Under-20 National Team and is a preseason Top-11 player from CollegeSoccerNews.com. Freshman Tyler Smith has scored twice early in his career and leads the team in points along with Miles Byass who has a goal and two assists. Blake Hylen has played every minute in goal and has a 1.55 GAA and a save percentage of .583 over 290 minutes.

Last time out against the Aztecs, Penn came back for a 2-2 tie, needing an Alex Tuch goal in the 86th minute to square the match. Alex Takakuwa had the other goal for Penn, scoring in the 28th minute, giving Penn a lead that SDSU erased in the second half with two quick scores. Overall, Penn is 1-1-0 against San Diego State.

Checking in around the Ivy League, Penn is one of three unbeaten teams through the first week of play, with Columbia (3-0-0) and Harvard (1-0-0) also unblemished. Brown and Yale are both 1-1-0 while Cornell, Dartmouth and Princeton are all looking for their first wins of the season and are 0-1-1.